Was ist Zen?

DIE WURZELN DES ZEN

Die Wurzeln des Zen reichen 2.500 Jahre zurück bis zum historischen Buddha in Indien. Sein Leben zeigt als ältestes Vorbild der Menschheitsgeschichte, wie man aus eigener Kraft zu Erleuchtung und Vollkommenheit gelangen kann. Buddha war auch der erste, der die ursprüngliche Yoga-Meditation aus ihrer asketischen Einengung der Weltabkehr befreite und in eine praktische Übung für jeden zur Bewältigung seiner Lebensaufgabe umwandelte.

Im sechsten Jahrhundert brachte der legendäre Patriarch Bodhidharma dieses Gedankengut nach China. Der Legende nach übte er dort neun Jahre lang vor einer Felswand das „Sitzen in Versunkenheit“. Seine Lehre, der stark auf die Meditation ausgerichtete Dhyana-Buddhismus, entwickelte sich unter taoistischen und konfuzianischen Einflüssen zur chinesischen Urvariante des Zen: zum Chan.

Im Lauf der folgenden Jahrhunderte bildeten sich in China unter den großen, bis heute maßgeblichen Meistern bedeutende Chan-Schulen heraus. Zwei davon gelangten als Rinzai- und Soto-Schule im 13. Jahrhundert nach Japan, wo sie unter der Bezeichnung «Zen» (Abkürzung von Zenno / Zenna, der japanischen Lesart von Chan) weitere berühmte Meister hervorbrachten und noch heute existieren.

Alle großen Zen-Schulen waren und sind sich darin einig, dass Buddha weder eine menschliche Gottheit noch der Schöpfer der Welt ist, sondern ein Mensch. Buddha Shakyamuni wird verehrt, weil seine Dharma-Lehre eine der ältesten Erlösungslehren der Erde ist. Er war nicht der einzige Buddha, vor ihm und nach ihm gab es noch andere Buddhas, die eine fast ebenso tiefe Einsicht erreicht haben. Jeder Mensch kann zum Buddha werden, denn er trägt die „Buddha-Natur“, den Ansatz der Vollkommenheit in sich, um sich von den Ursachen des Leids (Begierde, Hass, Verblendung) befreien zu können.

DIE PRAXIS DES ZEN

Zen gründet zwar im Buddhismus, vermittelt aber keinen Glauben, kein Dogma, kein theoretisches Wissen, sondern eine Lebenshaltung und einen Weg zur wahren Menschlichkeit. Die drei tragenden Säulen des Zen sind Meditation, Ethik und die von Weisheit durchdrungene Erkenntnis der Wirklichkeit.

Wer sich mit Zen beschäftigt, wird bald erkennen, dass es ihm eine vollkommen neue Perspektive auf sich und die Welt ermöglicht. Die Einsicht in das eigene Wesen, mit der im Idealfall die Einsicht ins Wesen aller Dinge verbunden ist, das ist es, was Zen auch für viele Menschen hier im Westen so attraktiv und wertvoll macht.

Der Kern des Zen ist die Praxis, sonst nichts. Wenn wir Zen praktizieren wollen, müssen wir grundsätzlich bereit sein, eigene Ansichten, Konditionierungen und mentalen Konstrukte zu hinterfragen und aufzugeben. Zen verlangt nichts, doch wer nicht bereit ist, sich auf das Gesagte einzulassen, der wird für sich auch nichts Wesentliches erfahren können. Zen ist die Bereitschaft, Erfahrungen zu machen, die der Logik selten spontan zugänglich sind. Dazu muss der umherwandelnde Geist erst zur Ruhe kommen, bis der Verstand schweigt und der Geist leer und aufnahmebereit ist. Daher kann man Zen nicht erlernen, sondern nur praktizieren.

Zen zu praktizieren ist Achtung vor dem Leben, vor anderen, sich selbst und der gesamten Schöpfung. Das setzt allerdings voraus, sich von falschen Vorstellungen vom Leben zu befreien. Großzügigkeit, ethisches Verhalten, Geduld, Sammlung und Weisheit sind die Handlungen, die die Zen-Praxis zwingend vorgibt.

DER WEG DES ZEN

Das Einzige, das Zen zu bieten hat, ist absolute Klarheit und darauf aufbauend konsequentes Handeln. Zen schult in einer Art des Denkens, die den Dingen unmittelbar und ohne Umschweife auf den Grund geht und sie beim Namen nennt. Zen ist in diesem Sinne kompromisslos und zerstört jede Illusion. Diese Klarheit und Konsequenz mag bei manchen Unbehagen erzeugen.

Wer sich aber ohne Einschränkung und ohne Umschweife auf die Wirklichkeit einlassen kann, der findet im Zen die Klarheit, die er braucht, um wahrhaftig zu leben und zu handeln. Der Zen-Weg lehrt, die Welt um sich herum, aber auch sich selbst, auf eine tiefe und immer weniger von störenden Gedanken beeinflusste Weise wahrzunehmen. Dieser Weg lässt uns zu innerer Ruhe und Gelassenheit, Konzentration und gedanklichen Klarheit zurückfinden, lässt uns das Wesen der Dinge und unsere eigene Natur erkennen und dieses Wissen in unserem täglichen Leben verwirklichen. Es ist ein Weg der Eigenverantwortung und der Hingabe an das Leben.

Zen hilft, emotionale und mentale Grenzen zu überwinden und zu einer umfassenden Sichtweise zu gelangen. Die Praxis des Zen ermöglicht es, uns aus Fremdbestimmung, falschen Lebensphilosophien und seelischen Blockierungen zu befreien, um unsere Individualität frei von Egoismus entfalten zu können und wieder Gelassenheit, innere Freiheit und Kreativität als wesentliche Elemente in unserem Leben zu verwirklichen.

Kontemplation, Meditation, Vergänglichkeit und Mitgefühl sind die wichtigen Erfahrungen, die derjenige zu sammeln hat, der die mystische Wirklichkeit von Satori oder Kensho (Erleuchtung bzw. Wesensschau) anstrebt. In einer Haltung tiefer Konzentration einfach nur sitzen, ohne Ziel und ohne Streben nach der Großen Erfahrung. Man darf die Erleuchtung nicht suchen, nicht erwarten, nicht erhoffen, man kann sich höchstens von ihr finden und erfassen lassen.

Die Meditation dient zur Vorbereitung dieser Großen Erfahrung, die gemeinhin als Ziel der Zen-Übung angesehen wird. Ein solches Ziel darf es aber eigentlich im Sinne der Selbstlosigkeit des Zen gar nicht geben. Die „Erleuchtung“ kann deshalb auch nicht herbeigeführt werden – und sei es durch noch so intensives Üben. Wo diese Erfahrung in einem Menschen stattgefunden hat, da formt und prägt sie Ausdruck und Haltung, bis sie im Leben und Sein des Einzelnen vollkommen integriert und dann in seiner Erscheinung erkennbar ist, insbesondere für einen anderen Erfahrenen.

WAS ZEN NICHT IST

Zen ist keine Therapie, keine Selbsterfahrung und auch kein Mental-Training, auch wenn das Ziel oft das Gleiche ist und Zen therapeutische Effekte haben kann. Und fraglos ist Zen eine praktikable Weise, Schwierigkeiten im Leben zu meistern und Blockaden abzubauen, genauso wie die mentale Kraft zu stärken. Das ist jedoch nicht das absolute Ziel des Zen, sondern ein willkommenes »Nebenprodukt«. Zen ist keine Selbsterfahrung und kein Training, weil Zen sich nicht auf das Psychische, Persönliche und Vergangene bezieht, sondern auf das Umfassende, das über die Person Hinausgehende und Transzendierende hin ausgerichtet ist.

Nicht Selbstverwirklichung, sondern die Überwindung der Selbstbezogenheit ist das Ziel der Zen-Praxis. Im Ignorieren dieser Basisfakten besteht das grundlegende Missverständnis, dem westliche Sinnsucher häufig unterliegen, die sich für die Oberfläche des Zen begeistern. In der vermeintlichen Esoterik der ursprünglich fernöstlichen Lehre bestand seit jeher der größte Anreiz für die Menschen der Moderne, sich mit Zen oder vielmehr mit dem, was man sich darunter vorstellt, zu beschäftigen.

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